Attempts to present all opposition to the ruling regime as “nationalist” and all nationalists as “fascists” date back to Soviet times, but they have been used since both by the Kremlin and, increasingly, by the current regime in Ukraine. The electoral gains of the rightwing VO Svoboda party in the 2012 parliamentary elections spurred the pro-presidential Party of the Regions to try to present Viktor Yanukovych and themselves as the last bastion against far-right hordes seeking control in Ukraine.
Their first attempt, back in May 2013, to counter the Rise Ukraine! opposition rallies with the Regions Party very own “antifascist” demonstration was, admittedly, a public opinion fiasco. One of the thugs hired “to guard the antifascist demonstration”, Vadym Titushko gained notoriety and added the generic term “titushki” to a whole range of European languages, after he beat up a woman journalist and her photographer husband.
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